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Jordan's King Swears in New Government


Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit speaks to the media after the swearing-in ceremony at Raghadan Palace in Amman, February 9, 2011

Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit speaks to the media after the swearing-in ceremony at Raghadan Palace in Amman, February 9, 2011

Jordan's King Abdullah swore in a new Cabinet Wednesday, after dismissing his former government earlier this month amid protests for political change.

The new Cabinet is headed by Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit. King Abdullah had tapped the former prime minister and former general to create a government that would take "practical and swift" steps to enact reforms.

The new government includes five ministers who served under the administration of former prime minister Samir Rifai. However, the Islamic Action Front opposition group refused to join. The group - the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood - says it will wait to see if Prime Minister Bakhit enacts reforms before deciding if it will participate.

King Abdullah dismissed his old Cabinet after thousands of Jordanians took to the streets demanding the resignation of a government that they blamed for rising food and fuel prices as well as slow political reforms. The anti-government protests were similar to those that led to the ouster of Tunisia's president in January.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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